Kirkus Reviews â€“ Jan 1, 2012
This depiction of the stratosphere in its ever-shifting splendor offers a catalog of concepts for young readers. Arms outstretched, smiling face raised and backlit with the rising sunâ€™s glow, the child on the cover radiates infectious joy. Readers follow him (and his family and stuffed monkey) through a series of double-page spreads during which the firmament changes from â€œCloud Sky / Rain Sky / Storm Skyâ€ to the eventual â€œWish Sky / Sleep Sky / Dream Sky.â€
There is no particular rhythm or rhyme scheme; the text (shaped, colored and decorated to support the message) simply declares possible and imagined changes in a 24-hour period. Woodâ€™s decision to use pastel paper in deep colors for the backgrounds and compose with gouache highlights and colored pencils contributes to the sensory delight. Vibrant and marvelous as her lines are, it is the texture and tint of the underlying paper that maximizes the sizzle of the sunset and the connection between the lavender moonlight and its reflection in the sea. Compositions vary from scenes in which the dramatic patterns of natural phenomena overwhelm viewers to spacious spreads offering visual rest. The cycle and book close when the cover image is paired with â€œNew Sky.â€ A high-voltage stimulus package that encourages close observation of and imaginative thinking about nature, not to mention playing with print to express ideas.
School Library Journal â€“ February 2012
This tall, narrow picture book relates what could be a single day in the life of a family through a sequence of pages focused not on the figures, but on the sky above them.
A â€œblue skyâ€ changes to a â€œstorm sky,â€ â€œrainbow sky,â€ â€œsunset sky,â€ etc., and finally a â€œdream skyâ€ as the family enjoys a trip to the beach and the progression of the day from morning to night. On the bottom of each spread, a child with wild, curly hair and a stuffed monkey companion dreamily gaze at the heavenly changes taking place. The only text is the two-word description of each skyscape, cleverly drawn in Woodâ€™s vibrant pastel illustrations. Color tones range from cool blues, purples, and grays to fiery yellows and oranges depending on the time of day depicted, while figures appear in everything from full-color renderings to shadowy silhouettes. With its simple text and large imagery, this book is an excellent choice for storytimes. Suggest it also to preschool teachers seeking materials for weather, time, or nature units.
Horn Book â€“ March/April 2012
"Proving once again that picture books donâ€™t have to be complex or painterly to succeed, Wood (author of The Napping House) here presents a succession of double-page spreads showing skies, from â€œblue skyâ€ to â€œsunset skyâ€ to â€œmoon skyâ€â€”and ends the book with a beginning: â€œnew sky.â€ The spreads are held together by a story (told in pictures) featuring a small boy and his toy monkey.
The boyâ€”easily recognizable because of his mop of curly red hairâ€”and his family wait out a storm (â€œrain skyâ€) and then head to the beach, enjoying their day by the shore all the way through â€œstar sky.â€ In each spread, the words are incorporated into the pastel art, so that the letters of â€œrain skyâ€ drip; the letters of â€œstorm skyâ€ are as jagged as lightning; the letters on the quite glorious spread â€œstar skyâ€ are made up of twinkling points of light; etc. The progression through the day makes for a satisfying journey and a nifty bedtime story. Pre-readers will enjoy the range of palettes and scenes and the game of spot-the-monkey; brand-new readers will find many helpful clues (even the more abstract â€œwish skyâ€ is easily guessed thanks to the shooting star outside the boyâ€™s bedroom window). Woodâ€™s fresh, clever picture book may even inspire children to come up with their own ideas for skies: see suggestions on back cover."